Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Chinese reporter's spectacular eye-roll sparks viral memes and censorship

Chinese reporter's spectacular eye-roll sparks viral memes and censorship

"I am Zhang Huijun, executive director of American Multimedia Television USA", the journalist began before launching into a 40-second monologue as tiresome as it was directionless.

The roll-eye came in response to a lengthy question at one of the heavily-scripted press conference held on a sideline of China's annual Parliament, the National People's Congress.

(File pix) This screengrab taken from CH52 Youtube account shows Liang Xiangyi rolling her eyes while a fellow reporter is busy introducing herself and asking questions.

Jeremy Paxman it certainly was not - but then Beijing-friendly reporters such as Zhang are often tasked with lobbing softball questions at leaders in a bid to convince the Chinese public and the world that they are watching transparency in action.

Looking her up and down, Liang rolled her eyes with such concentrated disgust, it seemed only natural that her entire head followed her eyes backwards as she looked away in revulsion.

As for Zhang, her status as a "foreign journalist" was questioned by social media snoops, who claimed she pretended to be an outsider but was allegedly from China.

The moment was quickly turned into memes, with many referring to the two journalists based on the colour of their outfits - Zhang wore red, the colour of the Chinese Communist Party, while Liang wore blue.

Awesome to see how these two ladies just exploded over Chinese social media in the span of a few hours.

The eye-roll was broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV) and filmed by many watching.

"I can identify with Liang Xiangyu's attitude and expression when she rolls her eyes", another said.

Liang's name and the search term "question-asking bi--" trended on Weibo, China's micro-blogging service. On Taobao, the freewheeling online marketplace, vendors began selling T-shirts and cellphone cases bearing her image.

"The question was even longer than the answer", she added. "Without exception, websites must not hype the episode".

Its nearly 3,000 delegates on Sunday almost unanimously endorsed a controversial constitutional amendment that removed presidential term limits, paving the way for Xi Jinping to rule the country indefinitely.

But Liang's epic eye-roll has now grabbed the limelight.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, citing a fellow journalist, reported that Liang's credentials to cover the congress had been cancelled. Liang's Yicai chat group was also leaked online. Liang asks, before signing off with a confident and concise: "Thank you!"

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